Monday, February 10, 2014

Semi-Permanent Debris Shelters (Minimal Living or living in the woods)

I've become obsessed with videos on constructing debris shelters, survival shelters, and creative ways to build out of readily materials within a short amount of time.

There are many types of emergency survival shelters such as Wikiups, wigwams, Tarp shelters, igloos, underground, and the list goes on. The most basic constructs are shelters formed with dead wood, then layered with an insulation such as twigs, sticks, leaves, mud, tree bark and so on.
The reason I have become interested in these debris shelters lately is because of my new change of plans.
On a personal note, I took a trip down South to visit my partner's family with him, and we have been here awhile because my partner wants to stay to make money (to buy land). However I would rather walk across America as we had intended than stay down here permanently with his family. I would also rather move back to my Grandparents' property to work on my gardens there and my gardens at my Mom's property. I know that sounds very childish like Henry Thoreau had done on his experiment in the woods. Thoreau lived on his friend Ralph Emerson's property, and lived close to his Mother.
I will say that I'm not being very responsible in obtaining land, but I do not believe in buying the land. I would rather find a secluded spot in the woods than get a job for five years to afford such a small amount of land.


My choices are limitless but I would like to live outside, away from people that talk and cause drama, away from people that don't see eye-to-eye on my own ethics. I would like to live in the woods, or in my Grandparents' yard in a debris shelter rather than my tent. Debris shelters are much warmer than tents.
A debris shelter also allows you to form a fireplace and chimney attached.
I would also prefer living in a debris shelter rather than a tent because the plastic lining of tents tend to mold, and get dirty. I would rather live in something temporarily like a debris shelter that is natural.
As I live in a debris shelter, my idea is to work on a larger scale shelter underground (like in the picture below).

My home will be in three phases: debris shelter,
then underground dwelling, then my cob home
 Below I will list some of the videos I think will help you build these shelters in a survival situation. These shelters can also be added to on a larger scale for semi-permanent dwelling.

Shelters like these are easier on our environment, they allow us to reconsider what is important in life: reading, breathing, meditating, walking. With this way of living, we let go of material, frivolous items, and spend more time in nature.

The list below consists of videos on the construction of debris huts, underground dwellings, and survival shelters. You can type in any search engine these keywords to look at more interesting pictures of these shelters. They key to learning how to build these shelters is by experience. Go outside to the nearest woods or your backyard and build you one of these shelters out of the readily available dead wood (and because it's winter, there will be plenty of leaves to use to act as insulation for your hut).

The video above "How To Build a Semi - Permanent Shelter (part 1)" which teaches you to build a debris shelter with a fireplace/chimney included, remember to watch part 2

In this video, Mike Douglas of Maine Primitive Skills School teaches you a step by step on how to pick a spot, what to use, and other information on debris shelters. Remember to watch part 2.

Here is a small tutorial on how to make a lean to natural shelter out of spruce limbs. The only tools are an axe and some twine. I do not advocate cutting down any live trees, only use dead wood.

1 comment:

  1. There is a new show on National Geographic which features a man named Mick Dodge who has lived in the woods for most of his life. He doesn't build shelter because he lives in a hammock during the summer and during the winter, under a tree. However in one episode he built a sauna that reminded me of these debris shelters I have mentioned, click on the link below to watch out Mick Dodge constructs it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_c5vYGlGCc

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